Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Military Appeals Court Says Hebron Market WAS Stolen . . . FROM Jews


I am shocked! An Israeli court actually supported the rights of Jewish ownership in Hebron. The murderous arab riots of 1929 were actually remembered for what they were, and the arabs weren't rewarded for their evil behavior. Amazing!

I won't try to hope too much that the custodian for Jewish property might actually think about the mistakes made in this case and re-evaluate how other cases have been decided.

I won't try to hold out hope, either, that Israel might actually think about protecting our religious sites, as they are supposed to do, and recognize our historical rights to them.

For now, I will be happy that they Military Appeals Court has, for this single moment in time, actually acted in a just manner. Tomorrow it may change, but for this moment we might actually feel thankful.



The decision by the military appeals panel regarding Beit Ezra in Hebron

The Jewish Community of Hebron

May 27, 2008

The decision by the military appeals panel regarding Beit Ezra – The Ezra House – in Hebron includes:

1. Heavy criticism targeted at the custodian for abandoned property concerning stolen Jewish property.

2. A legal outline which will obligate the property to be leased to the Hebron Jewish community.

3. A ruling that past Arab vendors have no legal rights to the building; at the most, they may be entitled to possible financial compensation.

A military appeals panel today publicized its decision concerning "Beit Ezra" – the Ezra house, in Hebron.

"Beit Ezra" is property owed by Mr. Yosef Ezra, whose family lived in Hebron for hundreds of years, prior to the 1929 riots, massacre and expulsion. Presently two Jewish families live on property owned by the Ezra family. During the years of Jordanian occupation this property was stolen by Hebron Arabs and used as Arab shops.

Hebron's Jewish community redeemed this property and today utilizes it in coordination with Mr. Ezra. Arab vendors, instigated by Peace Now, brought a legal suit against the community and the families, arguing that the land had been stolen from them.

A military appeals panel heard the suit and today ruled.

In the decision, which ranges over 30 pages, the three panel judges heavily criticize the custodian for abandoned property in Judea and Samaria. They ruled that he did not utilize proper judgment as dictated by his job, as a guardian of the property, which he is obligated to protect.

He left the property abandoned, deteriorating and vacant, and was wrong to demand eviction orders for the Jews living there. The custodian did not take into account the good of the property or take into consideration the will and desire of the original owner, Mr. Yosef Ezra, as he is obligated to do.

The panel also ruled that the Arab vendors haven't any legal rights to the property, and certainly not as 'protected residents.' At most, if they can prove that the property was legally rented, they may be eligible for monetary compensation due to cessation of their lease.

The panel ruled that in his previous ruling, the custodian took into consideration only the rights of the former Arab vendors, when in reality, they have no legal rights whatsoever.

Concerning the Jewish residents, the panel ruled that they inhabited the property without receiving permission from the custodian and as a result must evacuate the property.

However, in light of the fact that their residency in the property is compatible with both the good of the property and the desires of the owner, and in reality is the only way to fulfill both these obligations, the panel outlined a method which will allow the Jewish residents to remain living in the property:

1. The residents must evacuate the property within 60 days.
2. Within 60 days Mr. Yosef Ezra and/or the residents and/or the Hebron Jewish community may forward a proper request to lease the property. An appeal will immediately postpone the evacuation from the property until a final decision is rendered.
3. The custodian is obligated to consider the request in accordance with 2 criteria in obligation of his role: a) the good of the property; 2) the will and desire of the owner.

The custodian may not take into consideration the rights of the Arab vendors as 'protected residents,' because these rights do not exist. The custodian's decision to the request must be given within thirty days. This decision may be again appealed to the military appeals panel.

The significance of this decision is that the Jewish residents will be able to continue living in Beit Ezra.

(More material is available in Hebrew, including the full panel decision, here.)

The Jewish Community of Hebron
POB 105 , Kiryat Arba-Hebron 90100
Tour Hebron: Tel 972-52-431-7055 or write:
The Hebron Fund
1760 Ocean Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11230

Web: www.hebron.com Ma'arat HaMachpela: www.machpela.com
Gift shop:www.hebrongifts.com

You too can Help Hebron - http://www.hebrontruma.com

The Jewish Community of Hebron
P.O. Box 105, Kiryat Arba 90100 Israel
Tel: 972-2-9965333; Fax: 972-2-9965304

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